Inspiration hits, and you feel moved to start a blog. Your idea is crystal clear. You’re excited and ready to go! The first few posts come pouring out of you with ease, and the energy of creating and sharing fuels your writing. Then life kicks in, months go by, and suddenly you find yourself wanting to give up on the whole idea because you just don’t have time.
If this sounds familiar to you, let this be your intervention. There is a way!
I know this story well. When I ran my own business, I made a commitment to post on my blog once per week, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. No matter what, that post was going up. Now that I’m employed full time and spend most of the day on the computer, I find it much more challenging to motivate myself to write with regularity, and to prioritize it alongside exercising, cooking, cleaning, nurturing my relationships, and just generally managing life.
I didn’t want to give up, though, because I love to share my highlights, thoughts, and inspiration with the world through writing. So I’ve come up with some strategies that have allowed me to hop back on the blogging train, and it feels oh-so-good. You, too, can keep your blog alive with these five strategies.
Chances are your calendar is already packed. The only way blogging stands a chance of getting your attention is if you give it as much priority as any other item that’s worthy of being on your agenda.
I like to take myself out to a coffee shop for a writing date. I find that when I remove myself from home, the task is more fun, my focus is much sharper, and I have a clear intention for what I’m doing with my time. Also, the promise of a latte and a croissant is highly motivating.
It can be intimidating to put your writing out into the world. The desire for it to be flawless is a natural one. However, perfectionism, as well as the misconception that each article is going to take several hours to complete, can be serious blockers to actually getting the job done. In fact, the two go hand-in-hand.
The truth is, done is better than perfect, because getting something done rewards you with that satisfying feeling of accomplishment. So when you schedule a writing date, make sure to have a clear goal in mind for what you want to accomplish and commit to completing it during the allotted time. You’ll be surprised at how efficient you can be when the goal is completion rather than perfection. The last post I wrote took me all of 30 minutes, which gave me the other 30 minutes of the hour I had scheduled to enjoy my coffee and answer some emails. Commit your time to being productive and don’t let perfectionism get in the way of publishing.
How often during the day — while waiting in line, sitting on a bus, or just spacing out — do you open a social media or game app to while away the time? What if you opened the WordPress app instead and wrote a quick blog post?
Using the app, you can add images from your phone directly to your site, and draft and publish a post from anywhere.
Maybe an inspiring topic pops up while you’re out and about, and you don’t want to lose your idea. You can write a quick draft in the app, then come back to it later to polish and publish. It takes practice to change your phone habits, but once you get into the swing of it, using the WordPress app can get you back on track with blogging in no time. You can also track your latest post’s performance directly from the app, and interact with your followers (and grow your audience along the way) via comments.
Everyone wants to have sleek photos on their blog, but not all of us have the time or skills to create professional-level images. Well, we’ve got you covered! The WordPress.com free photo library is jam-packed with free, high-quality stock photos that you can use to enhance your posts and your site.
When I’m thinking of a topic I want to write about, I browse the free photo library and add a bunch of related photos to my site’s media library so I can easily access them when I’m writing my post. It takes away a lot of the stress, saves time, and makes me feel really good about not just the content of my blog, but also its appearance.
Every so often you may want to tackle a bigger writing project, which is great, but the more time-consuming a task, the more likely you are to procrastinate. The solution: break it up into smaller, bite-size writing sessions to keep the momentum going.
For example, I’m in the midst of writing a post that captures my main highlights and accomplishments for 2019. There’s a lot of ground to cover, and with the busy holiday season, I didn’t have time for an extra long writing session. So instead, I broke it into three. In the first session, I reviewed my year and wrote an outline of everything I wanted to include in the article. In the second session, I wrote the draft of my post. In the final session, I’ll edit my post and publish it. This way, it all feels doable and I have a clear plan for completing it.
When I break up bigger projects into smaller tasks, there are several benefits. I find I allow myself to be more creative, because I don’t feel rushed. New ideas percolate when there’s space between each writing session. I also do a better job editing my content and getting to the meat of what I want to communicate. I do this by getting everything down in the first draft, then weeding out the unnecessary fluff when I come back to it. This makes my longer articles more effective and easier to read. Finally, rather than feeling burnt out or frustrated, I get to enjoy that same feeling of accomplishment I talked about in tip number two above.
Pull out your calendar and schedule your first writing date. And if you’re all ready and excited to start your blog, check out our plans. Happy blogging!